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Social Responsibility Messages and Worker Wage Requirements: Field Experimental Evidence from Online Labor Marketplaces

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  • Vanessa C. Burbano

    () (Columbia Business School, New York, New York 10027)

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of employer social responsibility on the wages workers demand through randomized field experiments in two online labor marketplaces. Workers were recruited for short-term jobs and I manipulated whether or not they received information about the employer’s social responsibility. I then observed the payment workers were willing to accept for the job. In the first experiment, information about the employer’s social responsibility marginally reduced prospective workers’ wage requirements on average and had a significant effect on the highest performers, who were willing to give up the wage differential they would otherwise demand. In the second, prospective workers submitted 44% lower wage bids for the same job after learning about the employer’s social responsibility. This paper provides causal empirical evidence of a revealed preference for social responsibility in the workplace, and of a greater preference among the highest performers. More broadly, it provides evidence that workers value purpose and meaningfulness at work, and it demonstrates that workers are willing to give up pecuniary benefits for nonpecuniary benefits. It furthermore highlights heterogeneity in worker preferences for nonpecuniary benefits by worker performance type.

Suggested Citation

  • Vanessa C. Burbano, 2016. "Social Responsibility Messages and Worker Wage Requirements: Field Experimental Evidence from Online Labor Marketplaces," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(4), pages 1010-1028, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:27:y:2016:i:4:p:1010-1028
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2016.1066
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Non, Arjan & Rohde, Ingrid & de Grip, Andries & Dohmen, Thomas, 2019. "Mission of the company, prosocial attitudes and job preferences: A discrete choice experiment," ROA Research Memorandum 006, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    2. repec:bla:stratm:v:39:y:2018:i:4:p:949-976 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:bla:stratm:v:39:y:2018:i:10:p:2666-2690 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:bla:stratm:v:39:y:2018:i:10:p:2591-2617 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Andreas Nilsson & David T. Robinson, 2017. "What is the Business of Business?," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 18, pages 79-106 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Abigail S. Hornstein & Minyuan Zhao, 2018. "Reaching through the fog: Institutional environment and cross‐border giving of corporate foundations," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(10), pages 2666-2690, October.
    7. repec:eee:iburev:v:28:y:2019:i:1:p:12-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:bla:stratm:v:39:y:2018:i:4:p:1003-1030 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Daniel Hedblom & Brent Hickman & John List, 2019. "Toward an Understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility: Theory and Field Experimental Evidence," Natural Field Experiments 00675, The Field Experiments Website.
    10. John A. List & Fatemeh Momeni, 2017. "When Corporate Social Responsibility Backfires: Theory and Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment," NBER Working Papers 24169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jeworrek, Sabrina & Mertins, Vanessa, 2019. "Mission, motivation, and the active decision to work for a social cause," IWH Discussion Papers 10/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    12. Daniel Hedblom & Brent Hickman & John List, 2019. "Toward an Understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility: Theory and Field Experimental Evidence," Natural Field Experiments 00675, The Field Experiments Website.
    13. repec:bla:stratm:v:39:y:2018:i:11:p:2899-2920 is not listed on IDEAS

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